Overview

Always dreamed of learning French while exploring iconic cities like Paris and Bordeaux? Now is your chance to experience the culture of France while perfecting your language skills with fellow students from around the world.

Greenheart Travel’s summer language camp is offered in two destinations in France:

Both language camp locations give you the opportunity to learn French through full language immersion through structured classes and exciting excursions.

Hear about the experience from Greenheart Travel Alum, Katie Fetter

Eligibility

  • Must be between 14 – 17 years old
  • Must have completed at least one year of French language instruction
  • Be in good mental and physical health
  • Have a genuine interest in learning French and immersing yourself in the culture

Why our alumni loved the program:

The two weeks abroad in Arcachon were incredible and I had a blast completely immersing myself in a different language and culture. I feel like I changed so much from my time in France. It’s such a rewarding feeling– taking the skills we learn in textbooks and utilizing them in the real world. I’m currently in the process of applying for colleges, and I am considering studying abroad in college because of my amazing experiences I had in France this summer.” – Autumn Lee, 2016 Summer Camp France alum

Paris Program

The center of French culture and history, Paris is the beautiful capital city in France. This long-running program is one of our most popular teen summer camp destinations! Your days will consist of morning classes, afternoon excursions and evening events at the residence hall. Check out our photo gallery and picture yourself in Paris this summer.

For Paris, all students will be enrolled in a two-week program (option to extend to three-week program) starting July 1 (arrival June 29). 

Educational visits and excursions form an important part of the program. An exciting day by day program will be given to the participants upon arrival. Climbing the Eiffel Tower, visiting the most famous touristic places, and spending a full day at Euro Disney are part of this program. Students will also enjoy sports activities as well as evening entertainment!

Please note: Participants are not allowed to go out at night outside unless accompanied by a chaperon.

Sample Itinerary:

What are past participants saying about the program?

“My experience in Paris was one I will never forget. I met some wonderful people from so many different countries who will remain in my heart and mind forever.  I learned about different cultures and I made some of the best friends I will ever have. While challenging, the language classes were a really good way to boost my comprehension of French and I do think that I learned a lot from the classes. I am excited to put what I have learned this summer into practice and show off my new skills.”Katie Fetter, Greenheart Travel alum and scholarship winner for Summer Language Camp in France

Arcachon Program

A lesser known area of France, Arcachon is no less special than Paris! This coastal city is located about a 1 hour drive from Bordeaux in a beautiful region of the country. If you’re an ocean lover, this is the spot for you! It is a popular vacation destination for French tourists, and is home to some incredible nearby sites. Your days will consist of morning classes, afternoon excursions and evening events with your host family.

You can choose lengths of stay between 2-6 weeks.

Educational visits and excursions form an important part of the program. An exciting day by day program will be given to the participants upon arrival. Climbing the massive Pyla sandune, visiting the nearby castles & ancient ruins, and spending a day on a river cruise are part of this program. Students will also enjoy sports activities and music classes! Each night, you will get to spend time with your local host family fully immersed in French life. This is a great opportunity to learn about what real French people do and how they live!

Please note: Participants are not allowed to go out at night outside the host family home unless accompanied.

What are past participants saying about the program?

My summer in France was the most memorable summer of all time! Greenheart Travel offered the best experience. The excursions, the morning classes and the overall experience was amazing. The day would start off in the morning with breakfast, then off to class! Class consisted of a small group of international French learners. Afterwards, we would have our daily excursion then the evening with friends or the host family. Overall, great experience! Thank you!” – Ivan Galvan, Summer Language Camp Alumn with Greenheart Travel

Paris + Arcachon

Sometimes, it’s hard to choose! For students who want to experience both Paris and Arcachon, we offer a combination program!

The combination program is either four weeks or six weeks. You have the option of:

  • 4 weeks: 2 weeks in Paris + 2 weeks in Arcachon
  • 6 weeks: 2 weeks in Paris + 4 weeks in Arcachon

Students will arrive first in Paris (CDG or Orly) between 12:00pm and 6:00pm on Saturday, June 29 (classes start Monday, July 1) for two weeks of an exciting schedule of language classes and activities. Then, on Saturday, July 13, they will be transported with a chaperone (included in the cost of the program) to Arcachon.

From July 13 to either July 27 (4-weeks) or August 10 (6-weeks), students will spend their days seaside soaking in more than just the sun. At the end of their program, students will be transported with a chaperone back to Paris for their return flight (should depart from (CDG or Orly) after 1:00pm.

See the costs here.

Class & School Info

There are 3 different levels — Elementary, Intermediate, or Advanced. The levels are sub divided up into two sub levels depending on your linguistic skills. You will be given an admissions test on your first day to evaluate your skills and place you in the proper level.

French Courses

  • 15 morning classes a week (3 classes per day for 50 minutes each)
  • Classes are taught by native French teachers who specialize in teaching French as a foreign language
  • You should take a French/English dictionary, notebook and pencil for class but your school will provide all books and workbooks.
  • Teachers use dynamic, interactive educational methods that integrate the use of magazines, cds, discussions on current affairs, surveys, and presentations
  • Students receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the course

Paris School Location and Classrooms:

paris-language-school-location

 

Arcachon School Location and Classrooms:

arcachon-school-collage-greenheart-travel-2

Arrival & Departure

All students fly on their own to France. A representative from the language school will pick them up and take them to their host family.

Paris:

  • Arrive in Paris (CDG or Orly) between 12:00pm and 6:00pm on Saturday, June 29 (classes start Monday, July 1)
  • Depart from Paris (CDG or Orly) Saturday, July 13 between 9:00am and 2:00pm (or Saturday, July 20 if extended to 3 weeks)

Arcachon:

  • Arrive at Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (BOD) on Sunday (before Monday classes start) between 12:00pm and 6:00pm
  • Depart from Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (BOD) on Saturday at the end of their program between 9:00am and 2:00pm

Paris + Arcachon:

  • Arrive in Paris (CDG or Orly) between 12:00pm and 6:00pm on Saturday, June 29 (classes start Monday, July 1)
  • Depart from Paris (CDG or Orly) Saturday, July 27 OR Saturday, August 10 after 1:00pm

Arriving or departing outside these designated windows will incur additional fees.

Program Dates

Program Start Date Deadline to Apply Date Location
July 1, 2019 April 1, 2019 Paris or Arcachon
July 15, 2019 April 1, 2019 Paris or Arcachon
July 22, 2019 April 1, 2019 Arcachon
July 29, 2019 April 1, 2019 Arcachon

For Paris, all students will be enrolled in a two-week program (option to extend to three-week program) starting July 1 (arrival June 29). 

For Arcachon, students can choose between 2-6 weeks. 

If you prefer to enroll in both destinations, please refer to our Paris + Arcachon program!

Program Cost

2019 Program Cost for Paris or Arcachon: 

  • 2 weeks: $2,520
  • 4 weeks: $3,260

2019 Paris + Arcachon Cost:

  • 4 weeks: $4,800
  • 6 weeks: $5,570

Please note: all prices are listed in USD. Please refer the payment schedule here

What’s Included:

  • Accommodation for the entire program
  • 3 meals a day
  • 15 hours of language classes per week
  • Fully chaperoned daily cultural activities & excursions
  • Arrival orientation and language level placement test
  • Airport pickup and drop off from designated airport
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • 24-hour emergency assistance from local staff and long-distance staff
  • Online pre-departure orientation with Greenheart Travel
  • The Greenheart Travel Atlas, an interactive guide to your cross-cultural experience
  • Donation to support the Greenheart Odyssey, an award-winning youth leadership development program
  • Access to the Greenheart Club, an online community for Greenheart alumni to find resources, log volunteer hours, and apply for alumni grants and scholarships

Only for Paris + Archacon:

  • Round trip chaperoned transportation to and from Paris*

What’s Not Included:

  • Flight to France
  • Spending money for souvenirs or snacks while in France

*Students who wish to transport on their own between Paris and Arcachon may have this deducted from their total program fee

Accommodation

All students live with carefully selected local host families near the school – approximately 20 minutes walking distance to the school or public transportation. Prospective host families undergo a rigorous screening process. Participants can rest assured that only suitable host families will be selected. In order to qualify as a host family, the prospective hosts must:

  • Successfully pass a criminal background check
  • Undergo and pass an in-person interview with program staff
  • Agree to and pass a home inspection

Usually two students will share a room and there can be up to 8 students with one host family depending on the size of the family’s home. They will only share rooms with students of the same sex and will be closely supervised by their hosts.

What have past participants said about their host families?

“I was fortunate enough to live with a wonderful host mom who is one of the most kind people I’ve ever met. In the morning she would always ask if I slept well, wanted to know about my day when we came back from school, she drove my host brother and I to get ice cream and to watch the sun set (which was my favorite memory from this trip). I am still in contact with her and email her regularly.” – Autumn Lee, Summer Camp France alum

 

FAQ For Parents

The decision to send your teenager abroad can be difficult and there are a lot of questions to consider. We understand your concerns and the Greenheart Travel staff is there for you every step of the way! We want to make the process of traveling and studying abroad as fun and painless as possible for you and your child. Here are some of the common questions we get from parents as they consider the program:

What does it mean to be in good mental health in the program eligibility requirements?

Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to a well-adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on an exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our participants, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of all applicants.

Therefore, we may not be able to accept students who have struggled with any kind of mental illness within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental health condition.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Depression
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Debilitating anxiety
  • Eating disorders

If the student’s mental health issue has been resolved (post-medication) for over 2 years, we will ask for a note from his/her relevant practitioner (psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, etc) as part of the application process.

If my child does the Paris and Arcachon destinations, what kind of flight should I buy?

Most people will book two sets of round-trip tickets (one from your home city to France and one between the cities in France). Since most people do their Paris program first, followed by their Arcachon program, we typically recommend booking international airfare first and then domestic airfare in France. If you find it is easier or cheaper to book a multi-leg ticket from your home to Paris to Bordeaux to home, that is fine with us. We are happy to discuss flights options with you before you book anything.

How much supervision is there?

Students are supervised and chaperoned at all times. Students are never allowed to leave the school grounds or residence without being accompanied by a chaperone.

Should my child fly using an unaccompanied minor service?

Greenheart Travel does not recommend this service because the “additional” services advertised by the airlines are already provided to all travelers and are not worth the money invested by you the traveler. At any time, a student can ask an airlines professional for help finding their gate or for connecting flight information, and paying for this add-on UM service is not necessary. We have sent hundreds of semester abroad students internationally, for whom we book their flights, and we never use unaccompanied minor services. If you would like the peace of mind a UM service provides, Greenheart Travel offers more self-empowering alternatives (such as reviewing airport maps, mapping connections, etc) that we believe teach teenagers relevant life skills about traveling independently. Please refer to our webinar about navigating international airports.

How many other students will there be and where are they from?

A majority of our students are American between 14-17 years old. However, there are students participating from around the world, so your child will have a cross-cultural setting both in the classroom and out. While the number of students does vary by start date, we like to keep small classes with no more than 15 students.

Will my child be required to speak French outside of the classroom?

Language practice and immersion are the main priority of this program. While we do not require the students to sign a contact stating they will only speak in the local language, it is highly encouraged that they use their language skills when talking to friends, partaking in the daily excursions and at night in the residence hall or host family home. Program staff and chaperones primarily communicate and answer questions in the local language to encourage this immersion culture.

How will this program improve my child’s French skills?

In a traditional classroom, students may learn language skills; however, they are not forced to practice these skills in real world situations. Through language immersion, your child will both learn the practical language skills in a classroom while also being forced to use them with local, native speakers during the excursions and/or host family experience. Studies show that 4 weeks of a full language immersion experience can be equivalent to a yearlong college language course because of the intensity of use.

Will my child earn high school credit?

Greenheart Travel cannot award high school credit. Please talk to your school about earning credit for your child’s time abroad. Refer to this blog post for tips on transferring credit.

Why should I choose Greenheart Travel?

Greenheart Travel provides 24-hour support to you and your child throughout the application, program and alumni processes. We are a small staffed non-profit that is accredited with CSIET, so you know you’ll always be talking to a real person on the other line. We are proud to always be available for your questions and concerns and we always answer our emails and phone calls quickly. We pride ourselves on developing a personal relationship with our participants, and love staying connected with them throughout the experience on social media & email. We offer the personal connection and support that many of our competitors do not.

What if my child has an allergy/specific dietary requirement?

We can cater to vegetarian needs quite easily. Any other specific diets should be discussed with us to see if we can arrange to have your needs met.

What happens if my child gets sick while abroad?

They will be covered by mandatory health insurance. You will receive a policy brochure and insurance card via email 2 weeks prior to their departure, as well as supplementary materials in your child’s comprehensive program handbook.

Can they apply with friends?

Absolutely! We are happy to accept friends and groups. If both your child and their friend go together, each of them will receive a discount! However, keep in mind your primary purpose of attending this program is to immerse themselves in the language and culture – so make sure your child and their friend commit to speaking French! (Need tips? Check out our language learning tips webinar!)

Application Process

Committing to a language camp program can feel a bit daunting, but we are here every step of the way to make the application process as simple as possible. Below are the steps you’ll need to take to be accepted on a Greenheart Travel program.

Once you start your application, you have two weeks to finish.

1. Ensure Your Eligibility: The eligibility requirements, such as age or language proficiency, may be required for certain destinations.

2. Start Your Application Here (Approximately 5 Minutes): Greenheart Travel Application.

3. Sign the Terms & Conditions (Approximately 10 Minutes): After you complete Part 1 of your application, you (and your parent(s) if you’re under 18) will be asked to read through and sign our Terms and Conditions which outline the requirements and policies of the program.

4. Submit your deposit (Approximately 5 minutes): You will need to submit your $250 deposit at this point in the process. A deposit is required in order to reserve your spot on the program and is subtracted from your total program fee.

5. Secondary Application Form (Approximately 30 Minutes): This is the most in-depth part of the application process as it helps us get to know you better. You will need to provide detailed information about yourself, why you want to go abroad, and what you hope to gain from your experience. You will also need to upload your passport.

6. Acceptance: Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 2-3 weeks to confirm your acceptance. If we find something in your application that we have concerns about, we will let you know immediately. 95% of applicants are accepted on the program they apply for.

You’re Accepted – now what?

Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. You should expect to receive a comprehensive program handbook via email, which talks more about your program, as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program. We will also schedule an online pre-departure orientation to answer any lingering questions you may have. You can expect to receive your host family placement 2 weeks prior to your start date.

Please refer the payment schedule here.

Schedule a Call

Have questions or want to talk to the program coordinator, Allison? Set up a time to have a phone call below.

Don’t forget to review the frequently asked questions!